Ginger and Peace

Serenity Prayer (credited to theologian Reinhold Niebuhr)

God/Universe, grant me the serenity
To accept the things I cannot change;
The courage to change the things that I can;
And the wisdom to know the difference.

I was recently talking to a delightful nurse named Ginger. She is 67. She was a sweet little lady and as we chatted about school and work she mentioned a prayer she keeps in her house and looks at every day. She has some loved ones with alcoholism and it helps her. It made me think about the really hard part, how do we know what we can't change? Are we giving up or are we getting to ahimsa (non-harming of ourselves) when we let that one thing go that just about kills us? I know that sometimes I just can't quit worrying about my students and what some of them go through, or other things in my own life too. When to act, when to rest?

The poem says it takes Wisdom, which takes time, and experience. Maybe as we grow older, we gain this peace. Makes me look forward to 40, 50, and beyond. Yes we may lose some physical abilities we once had, but what we can gain in serenity could make all the difference. I simply have to think of Ginger,my dear grandma at 96, and my great aunt with a birthday coming up and wonder at the world. Such lively wise souls beam out.

Cheers to the ripening of our spirits, may they become more sweet and complex with each passing moment. I know we have come far already, but yet have farther to go.


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